Association of Fat Mass and Adipokines with Foot Pain in a Community Cohort

Thomas Walsh, Tiffany Gill, Angela Evans, Alison Yaxley, Ernst Shanahan, Catherine Hill

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective To determine, first, if fat mass index (FMI) or fat-free mass index (FFMI) and serum adipokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) are associated with prevalent (stage 2) foot pain, and, second, if they are predictive of future (stage 3) foot pain. Methods A subset of participants ages ≥50 years (n = 1,462) from the North West Adelaide Health Study were used for this study. Participants from this community cohort were asked in stage 2 (2004-2006) and stage 3 (2008-2010) if they had foot pain, aching, or stiffness. In stage 2, serum adipokines and anthropometry were measured, while body composition was analyzed with dual x-ray absorptiometry. These variables, along with comorbidities and social history, were used in logistic regression analyses to determine if FMI, FFMI, and serum adipokines were associated with foot pain. Results Prevalent foot pain was present in 20.2% of participants, and future foot pain in 36.4%. Following multivariate modeling, the odds of having pain at stage 2 increased by 8% for each FMI unit (odds ratio [OR] 1.08, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.04-1.12), while the odds of having pain at stage 3 increased by 6% for each FMI unit at stage 2 (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02-1.11). TNF level, IL-6 level, and FFMI were not associated with pain. Conclusion Increased FMI, but not body mass index, FFMI, or TNF or IL-6 level, was associated with both prevalent and future foot pain. These results suggest that body fat may be more important than body weight with respect to foot pain. The role played by other adipokines requires further investigation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)526-533
    Number of pages8
    JournalArthritis Care and Research
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


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